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By LWA Staff
Item: Dynavector KARAT 17D2 MKII Moving Coil Cartridge
Location: Len Wallis Audio HQ
Item Condition: Excellent Secondhand Condition
Payment Method: Credit Cards, Cash, Paypal, Bank Transfers, ZipPay
Shipping: We can shipping to anywhere in the 16 known universes
Extra Info: Take your vinyl payback to the next level with this excellent DV Karat 17D2 MKII. As with all cartridges we have inspected this one under the microscope (actual images included below) and it is in excellent condition.
(taken direct from the Dynavector website)
17D2MKll Karat Diamond is the first cartridge built using 'dispersion' theory. Its Micro-Ridge stylus and very short (1.7mm) solid diamond cantilever give a huge reduction in 'frequency dispersion', unmatched dynamics and a high frequency extension all the way up to 100kHz. The latest patented magnet circuit design increases the output to 0.26mV with crystal clear mid-range and treble even during the largest symphonic crescendos.
Features and Improvements:
Dynavector Karat is notable for its gemstone cantilever. This 1.7mm long and 0.25 mm in diameter solid diamond cantilever has its 0.06 square mm stylus mounting hole precision cut by a laser beam machining precess.The Micro Ridge of 0.06 square mm nude diamond stylus is carefully mounted in the cantilever. The armature of 0.9mm square and 0.4mm thick is much smaller than normal, upon which are wounded 70 turns per channel of 11 micron fine wire.
Due to the short rigid construction of the cantilever the 17D2MKll showed a flat frequency response up to 50KHz.
The New 17D2MKII now features Dynavector's unique magnetic flux damping and softened magnetism (patent) along with powerful Neodymium magnet that combine to eliminate any hardness or irritating edginess that commonly occurs in many moving coil cartridges. This has also enabled to increase the output of 0.26mV.
Type Low output moving coil cartridge with flux damper and softened magnetism
Output Voltage 0.26mV (at 1KHz, 5cm/sec.)
Channel Separation 25 dB (at 1KHz)
Channel balance 1.0 dB (at 1KHz)
Frequency response 20 - 20,000Hz (± 1dB), 20 - 100,000Hz
Compliance 15 mm/N
Tracking force 1.8 - 2.2 g
Impedance 32 ohms
Recommended load impedance > 100 ohms
Cantilever 1.7mm length, 0.25dia solid diamond
Stylus tip Micro-Ridge
Weight 5.3 g
This is a valve phono stage. Hagerman has 3 versions .
I am not quite sure if ours are version 1 or 2.
I think the valves are: 2-12AX7, 1-12AU7 and 1-5Y3GT rectifier.
"ours" well it's a long story. Three or four years back after I noticed an ad in our classifieds "make an offer for 2 nearly completed Cornet phono stages starting at $250".
I bought them of these stages for $251. It is only very recently that I was told the kits were priced around $2k each.
Well you won't be surprised to hear that in the first instance they weren't quite the bargain they appeared to be.
Both builds were seriously botched.
"ours" well I gave 1 to @andyr as a thank you for allowing me to maintain his second system at my place.
Andy isn't a valve man so he didn't get his up and running and sent it to Duc @lovetube. Who after communication with Jim Hsggerman started pretty much from scratch and got it working.
There it rested for a year or so while I prevaricated. Andy proposed to sell his but offered it to me as a template for a tech to rebuild mine first.
The sting from his cattle prod got me to find a tech and deliver unto him the phonos.
This week they returned both work perfectly. Andy's had a small hum issue which the tech has eliminated. So it's not going to be for sale .
Great sound eminating from my system at the moment it's attached to a Magnapan arm with a Stanton WS 100 cart.
A month or two back we played Andys against the Cornet 3 and the 3 out performed the 2. We need to repeat the process I'm thinking a blind test might reverse that outcome.
Having just had a play with a ClearAudio entry level turntable (for ClearAudio that is!) the Concept, which is ~$2,500 including ClearAudio V2 MM Cartridge, I thought I would share my impressions.
I am not purchasing this turntable, but borrowed it from Denis White Audio Visual in order to provide some feedback on its build quality and performance. For what it's worth, I typically repair and/or set up one or two turntables every day, Thorens, Rega, Pro-Ject, Micro Seiki, Technics, Linn, etc. and have been building turntables for professional and consumer applications more than 35 years. I have not played with ClearAudio before, and I have not read any reviews, so my impressions are just that - my impressions of this one turntable alone.
The Concept is a little unusual for an audiophile deck in that it comes from the factory with cartridge fitted and completely set up. The only thing you need to do is fit the belt and platter and adjust the three feet for level with the supplied bubble level. The platter is turned from sonically inert polyoxymethylene and is very impressively and perfectly round and flat. The sub-platter is made of aluminium and has no discernible runout or eccentricity which would cause speed hunting. The three speeds were spot on and stable with no hunting when tested by stroboscope, and are adjustable by screwdriver trims on the rear panel. The motor is a little noisy on 78 rpm, but it would be well below the noise floor of any 78 rpm record.
My first interest was which tracking alignment ClearAudio had chosen - would it be the SchÃ¶n alignment ( by Walter E SchÃ¶n in Germany? it turns out that ClearAudio set the inner null point at 66mm, the same as the conventional Baerwald alignment.
Azimuth, offset, vertical tracking angle (for 180 gram records) and pickup lift height were all perfectly set. The online manual says that the ideal tracking weight for this cartridge is 2.0 grams but according to my digital scales it was set for 2.60 grams (within the 1.8 to 2.6 range specified for the V2).
The low-capacitance fixed interconnects including tone arm wiring measured 135 pF, series inductance of 0.64 uH and series resistance of 0.7 ohms (all including the tonearm internal wiring) and the cartridge measured 405 ohms at 1 kHz (better - lower - than spec) and cartridge inductance measure 430 mH, all of which means that the cartridge will tolerate a range of load capacitance without too much detriment. The interconnects are well screened and there is no evidence of extraneous electromagnetic pickup - the noise floor was very near theoretical optimal, helped by metal body RCA plugs.
The tonearm uses a novel magnetic levitation pivot and magnetic anti-skating for theoretically zero friction, so I was interested to see how it performs. My next test was to test anti-skating performance from outer to inner grooves. Anti-skating performance was good except at inner tracks. As this in not my turntable and the anti-skating adjustment is not described in the user manual, I decided to adjust the tracking weigh to match the anti-skating setting. (*See note below.) It turns out that a tracking weight of 2.40 grams gave the most consistent anti-skating performance across the disc - an error of just 0.1 grams either way degraded tracking ability with the factory anti-skating setting. Once set at 2.40 grams, the cartridge is happy to track at up to +16dB above reference according to the HiFi News Test LP at ~20 degrees Centigrade in my living room.
The tonearm horizontal resonance measured at 7 Hz and caused quite a bit of movement of the tonearm, though not enough to cause tracking errors. The resonance will not cause any issues with out-of-round records. The vertical resonance was so well damped it was difficult to determine the actual resonant frequency, meaning this combination of tonearm and cartridge should have no difficulty playing warped records.
Now to impressions. The build quality is superb, and surpasses most similarly priced turntables IMHO. The motor appears to be rigidly mounted to the plinth, but in fact is very well isolated - once tensioned by the drive belt I could not hear any coupling into the plinth with my contact stethoscope. There was, however, a very small amount of bearing noise which was audible both by stethoscope and during the silent track of my test record. It may be perceptible between tracks and on lead-in/lead-out grooves, depending on the quality of the pressing. The isolation from environment provided by the feet was quite good (this is a turntable Ã la Rega or Technics, not a suspended plinth like Thorns or Linn).
Bear in mind that this cartridge has had zero break-in time. Whilst good, it did not get the hairs on the back of my neck standing up, with the main weakness being a little stress in the top end. It is likely this will improve enormously with use and I did notice some mellowing in the few hours I played records. Given the standard of the rest of the turntable, it would be well worth considering the upgraded Concept model with MC cartridge. Of course, my personal preference for moving coil cartridges means I would be unlikely to rate any moving magnet cartridge as stellar.
Overall I think it is a fantastic turntable for someone who does not want to tinker and just wants to listen to the music unhampered by technical limitations. For a music lover it represents an alternative than to buy a lessor turntable and spend $$$ on endless upgrades in search of nirvana. The moving coil version (~$3000) would be well worth considering.
*Note: Anti-skating is easily adjusted by turning a knurled knob underneath the tonearm pivot, but requires a test record to set correctly.